Technology For Society

Focus on technology trends that create an impact on larger part of Society.

Firefox Indic language usage is not growing rapidly

Firefox is providing insight into download and use of its language versions from Dec-2009. It uses a feature called blocklist, where in the Firefox browser contacts Mozilla servers for updates on the malware websitesm once a day. Through this transaction, Mozilla is able to track the usage of the locale of the browser.

I got access to few Indic language report s (Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, ,Tamil, Telugu) for the past 3 months and tried to analyze the same. In the chart below, the downloads for the week are shown in the chart. Hindi tops the list, among the languages I have analyzed, an expected statistic in view of the larger population.

However the actual usage for the week ending 2010-03-14 is shown below. There is not much change in the last few months in these numbers. Hindi again tops the list, but its proportion of users from outside India is very much low compared to all other languages . Malayalam has large percentage of users outside India relative to to other languages. Hindi users are about 0.1% of the total users from India for Firefox 3.6 Version. Other language percentages are much below. Though the download numbers every week are roughly the same, the usage has not improved much in the last three months. This means that users are curious to find out the language version looks like, but many are not really using it.

It would be interesting to speculate about the reasons. Many users could be using computers provided by their employer. They may not be comfortable with the localized version. Or they might have experienced font display issues, if their system is not configured for rendering the language. Any other guesses and suggestions on how we can convert the downloaders into actual users?
More detailed analysis for Telugu is available in Telugu blogpost entry.

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